tv [untitled] August 13, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
commissioner: i invited sommer pederson to be year to talk about your experience with the impact fees. we're going to be coming up with doing some discussions about some joint agenda items with the planning commission, so this is designed to be an informational presentation to you in terms of what our small businesses, especially those looking to open businesses in the eastern neighborhood, with the impact of the eastern neighborhood, and the mta transit fee, and so, i have invited sommer to be here with a presentation. you know, in terms of preparing
for you as we move forward, looking at this topic that has been on the committee project list. commissioner: 0, again. >> could evening. -- good evening. we learned a lot of this year about opening a business. it has been an eye-opener. i'm going to present our experience, highlighting the experience of impact fee. we started this project last may, 2010, and i will take you through the steps. we began our warehouse search in the mission district, of which is our business model demographic. we looked at many different
demographics which could be affordable off for our business plan. all of the warehouse is we looked at arizona dpr -- were zoned pdr 1. we were advised to get a letter of the determination to get a clear answer. in september 2010, we chose our location and requested a letter of determination by the planning department 4 $577. we asked if a bowling alley and anbar were allowed. in november 2010, we received a letter of determination. the letter stated that a bowling alley was allowed but the restaurant, bar area was limited to 22500 square feet. we felt we could work with this restriction. we were also told we would be
subject to a neighborhood impact the of the $3 per square foot for the space, equalling $24,000. our warehouse is approximately 8000 square feet. we may be subject to an npa and -- mta impact fee of the $10 per square feet at $80,000. the planner could not determine the fees are she directed me to the administrator, jay. this was a huge concern as we are a small business and we could not afford this. with this question in mind, we polled questions on -- customers on transportation. we had planned to install like a parking. since we are not a business operating tear careened -- during business hours, it should not burden or impact muni.
in november 2010, i contacted the that he administrator about these fees. i spoke with jay and how he would calculate the amount we would have to pay. this was a confusing conversation as he was referencing credit that would be adjusted and going to the fee we were paying. i thought he was telling me they would be combined due to the credit he was referring to. i found out i was wrong last week. in january 2011, when we finally signed the lease. january through march we began the architectural drawings and a fund-raising as investors -- in may 2011, when submitted our change of use to the planning department. in july 26, 2011, the planning department approved our change of use application. we are very excited.
our planner compote -- calculated the fees to be $24,000 which we had budgeted for. when i asked for confirmation the mta fee was included, he said that was different. my jaw hit the floor and i was in disbelief. i contacted jay to discuss within the conversation we had in november 2010. he calculated our feet to be $19,000 based on our square footage of the warehouse. i explained our retail area was under 2500 square feet as was required. he understood the issue and recommended the planning department would need to advise him to treat the bowling area within the zoning so our feet could go down. this could save us about $15,000. we are working on this with the
office of economic work force and the office of work force development. how these are impacting s, these fees seemed to have been designed for retailers that are creating new construction. the fees are way for them to give back to the community they are potentially impacting. the eastern neighborhood he was designed to protect industrial spaces from getting swallowed up by new developments, restaurants fall into that category. we're not developers nor are we taking away a a building. a restaurant is staying under the required 2500 square feet. we are -- why are we getting fees on the entire space when retail it is a quarter of that? we are adding 20 local jobs and in an enterprise zone. we are also adding a lot of tax revenue.
that would have a positive impact on the neighborhood. we are running out of money to complete our construction. we are looking for help for these debilitating fees. if we cannot get assistance, and it could force is to move out of the city or give up on the business entirely. we have been struggling with this whole situation. $44,000 in potential fees based on taking an abandoned warehouse is really frustrating for us and hard as we are a small business. i am open to questions. >> thank you for that eliminating presentation. vice president adams: i think it is crazy. i wanted to -- i am glad you're talking to the office of small business. i think they could help you out. what could we do so that we can
get planning and sf -- to talk to each other. i think that is ridiculous. i am going to get on my soap box. you are a small business. you are changing -- i like the thing you said. it has been vacant for three years. i understand what they're doing in the eastern neighborhoods but it is defeating the purpose of what the project is supposed to be. it is a bowling alley. it should be under 2300 square feet. >> the bowling alley takes up a huge chunk. commissioner adams: i feel their frustration. i want to see this bowling alley built. >> it was so frustrating. he recommended i reach out to
the city agencies to help with the planning. the biggest frustration is that the planning department wrote the letter of determination saying that boeing was permitted but we have fees on the entire space. we will pay for the retail. we understand it goes back into the community. we want to help and give back as we can afford. but paying $14,000 between the -- $44,000 is a big deal. we're going to open without furniture. commissioner adams: this is the kind of bureaucracy that is a problem and a hindrance. >> why should she be moving back and forth between departments? if you have your plants and you show them to the mta, then this is equally a problem going back and forth and getting, being told guests and then been
told -- yes and then being told no. >> he did say, talk to the office of small business and the office of economic work force. have them write a letter so the planning department can advise me how to see you. i am looking at a floor plan and are letter saying it is right here but he needed all of those steps. that is part of the process. commissioner riley: d you have any suggestions as far as how we can help? >> there are a couple of things that are going to take place. there will be a joint committee meeting. we will need to include the sfmta. we need to look at the impact fees and how they are applied. that is more long-term. i think in the short term, the
commission can direct staff to write a letter to all departments in regards to who administers the impact fees. in our current economic climate, considerations may need to be given. what is most important for the economy is job growth. commissioner clyde: i wanted to say that this week i had a similar conversation with a different business. it took almost two years to turn a small cafe into a cafe /restaurant. it took two years because of planning and the building department and the building inspector, you know, having problems within their own department and doing advocacy for the smallest little business. i just heard a very similar
story costing the person a lot of money and a lot of time trying to straighten these things out. i agree with the director that jobs are number one. you are to be commended for hanging in here. i am sure that with this example and others, the advocacy can be applied to show that it is in their best interest to get people up and operating. just getting that as opposed to, let's just cover ourselves or make sure, getting you up and open is the highest thing that they can do. >> we appreciate that. the biggest thing that i keep thinking about is that the fee structure is exactly the same for me as a small-business person is a large scale developer. as i was researching how mta
comes up with their fee schedule, a lot of it has to do with the burden, they continue to use the word burden, on ridership. there would be more of a bird in during peak hours because they might have to add more bus lines. we are having about 20 staff per day. they will be hired locally. we opened after 5:00 p.m. we do not see where that burden comes from. when i asked the planning about an exemption, they never heard of that. shouldn't the hours of operation be something? the the amount of employees? shouldn't there be, a sliding scale? what is the use? if 6000 square feet is a bowling lane and there's only going to be 36 people, how come we are
being charged all of this or footage? maybe there are some gray areas. it seems like ours are it definitely something. we are opening after 5:00 p.m. people are not committing to a bowling alley. that should cut that in half. >> i would like to make an observation. i only travel on public transportation. nighttime hours, there is plenty of available transportation. that is a very good point. commissioner dooley: i am not sure if this is proper but we have another business from the same area. i was wondering if we could call him up to share his experiences. >> i would like to hear another experience that nobody has any objection? please, come forward. >> my name is aben.
i completely feel this person's paints. n. we see positive impact of what it is like to have a new business to come to an area. we just opened a new store and we had 16 months of what we -- you went through. it is a very difficult. it is a difficult climate. i agree with you 100%. the focus should be on jobs. the idea is that there are jobs that impact the community is more important than walmart's in neighborhoods. i come from a small business perspective. my experience is that there it -- this is nothing but a positive to the community. there needs to be some waivers
and situations that allow small businesses to grow and thrive in a place that was previously empty. we have seen what it is like when you are around empty buildings spending half of your day chasing drug situations. the impact is when a business comes in. it makes a community great. like anything, if this woman cannot open a business, we become a city of big businesses. me i do not think tourists come for sacramento with bills. we want to see her grow. we have been blessed by the city of san francisco supporting what we do. we would like a perspective of supporting something interesting, something vital that is a positive to the community. thank you. >> got any further comment?
commissioner adams: thank you for that. more people need it -- need to hear that kind of comment. people come here not to go to the chain stores. stores like yours is what makes this city you need. i would like to go back to what you said about directing staff to writing a letter. can i motion that? >> can i add, if there are concepts to work with, we have a done, with our contract and, we have increased credit for lbe's to be able to increase their participation. i think we can get creative with some concepts. we can define and create some a distinctions between a larger
entities or development projects and residential development projects. in relationship to our smaller businesses. i want to put that concept out that perhaps directing the city to take a look at ways, when we are developing these fees, that this particular fee was developed in 2001 with a particular study. especially in this economic climate, we need to get created so we're stimulating job growth. >> i would also agree with everything that has been said. i am just curious to know, and this is just your opinion that i am seeking, buit sounded as though there was some confusion on the lack of clarity.
i think you were given a figure of 80,000 at one time and then it was adjusted to a different figure. is it an observation that there is a lack of clarity? >> i believe there are a lot of gray areas. in the letter of determination i received in 2010 when a reference the eastern neighborhood impact the and stated there may be a fee of up to $10 per square foot. when i reached out to the fee administrator and i asked him about the $10 fee, i do not understand. somebody might take a bus and its $80,000? he said there are credits. this is where i think i misunderstood him. it was a verbal conversation. he cannot make anything until he has our plans. it was very hypothetical. basically, i gave him the breakdown. he said it could be up to $10
per square foot if it is new construction. then he said we would subtract depending on how many years it has been vacant. we would subtract certain dollar amounts. it was a confusing conversation but he kept referencing credits. the credit would end up being a significantly less. what i found out recently was he meant that the credit would go into itself making it about $2 and up 34 cents a square foot. that is based on our use. so the credits were within itself, not within the one a fee that i was under the impression it was. that is where it was confusing how he got to his map. he was saying it out loud, going through how he would do the math equations. between $10 all the way down to
what we were charged because he said that was an affordable fee. >> thank you for that. it sounds like what i am hearing is there is no distinction at all.' so it could be a big residential project for a big retail store and they all fall under the same umbrella. >> there might be some minor distinction in terms of something being built from the ground up as opposed to taking over an existing space. that is where some of the credits like, coming in and taking over an existing space. so there is some variation but, there is some determination -- variation in the amount of the fee, but in the general if
sommer were a boeing co. from a larger one that wanted to come in, the fee would be the same >> i do not see any further comment. i would like to open it up to public comment if there is any. seeing none, commissioner dooley. commissioner dooley: i have written a possible motion saying the small business commission, in order to encourage small businesses, urges the city of san francisco to provide a separate set of lower impact fees for the easter neighborhood. anyone want to add anything?
we would like to direct staff to develop another set of fees. >> that hits the nail on the head for me. can we have a motion? >> i will second that. >> to be proper, i would go to public comment. on the motion. president o'brien: do we have any public comment on the motion? yeah. seeing, none, that is closed. do we need to take a roll call? any objection? the motion is passed. we will go onto the next item. >> thank you for coming out. we appreciate it.
>> are you going to take reservations at your bowling alley? ok, good. >> item 8, director support of a report on the office of small business and the business center. update on a department programs and announcements regarding the small business activities. just to note the legislative spreadsheet is included with the report. >> commissioners, starting out with the small business assistance center i have our numbers from july 2010 ended july 2011. we're down a boat are 8% increase. and we want to let you know that i am waiting authorization from the comptroller's report
before it can post to the position but expect to be able to do that in december. next month we will recognize two intern who have worked in our office. we want to alert you to that. i also want to discuss the point of sale fee for electronic scanners. that has been in the news. i think we have a series of discussions for the 2011 budget. we had caught this fee. we were able to work very quickly within one week's time to minimize the fee on small businesses and to have that be more proportional. so, i have a note in here on how we changed it to note that this is the modification, what we
were the only county in the bay area that did not have such a fee, it is the lowest out of all of the other counties. because of the work with our office and i also want to express appreciation to the department of public health for responding to our request in figuring out how to more equitably distribute the cost. next, legislation. the health care security ordinance. supervisor composampos table the legislation. though that has been tabled, i think, i would like to express appreciation to supervisor campos.
something needs to be done. what the commission did not recommend approval, that this was not a way in which to deal with it, i want to thank him for bringing this to our attention. i think there will be more coming forward in terms of how to remedy this so that businesses who were not responding appropriately, there is still some accountability for them. i am not going to -- the business tax, i will do a quick rundown. the business tax regulation code to fund public safety services, that is going to go on the ballot. it will be signed on -- it was signed on august 2.
the enforcement on the minimum wage had a pass on its first reading last tuesday. the commercial control, it passed on its second reading last tuesday, august 2. limited live performance, it passed with the conclusions of the south park and sli area outside of the western some area plan. union street and clement street, they have a hard cut off at 10:00 p.m. they will not be able to apply for the one hour extension after a year. it passed on hits of first reading. it will have a sector reading as soon as the board of supervisors
return from recess. we hope for a late october. that is when people, businesses will start applying for their permits. prohibiting amplified sound, that is still in committee. as well as the coffee stores and video stores. you had the presentation last month. there are a couple of other pieces of legislation we heard a while back that is still being held in committee. in regards to the ata, we want to provide you with an update that july 26, we held a presentation with the glenn parker merchants association. on august 3, carmen chu's office assembled a panel for the office assembled a panel for the merchants of district four,